Choosing a neighbourhood to live in is one of the most important decisions of the home-buying process. Everyone seems to have an opinion on where the best place to live is. It's most important to know yourself, know what kind of person you are, and then look for a neighbourhood with attributes that will make you happy. It's easy to overlook important details, too. Keep the following qualities in mind when looking for a place to live.
We easily overlook this since most of us tune in more to what we see than hear. When looking at a house you are thinking of buying, be sure to take a few moments to close your eyes and listen to the neighbourhood. Imagine what it would be like to live in a constantly loud environment. A few minutes of loud traffic noise is bearable, but if you had to sleep through it every night, it could become a real quality of life issue. In addition to traffic, listen for barking dogs, noisy neighbours, and nearby airports or train stops. It may be worth going back several times to make your final call at different points in the day.
Lots of Trees
This one depends on your taste and perhaps climate, but most people like living in a neighbourhood with many trees compared to one without. Unfortunately, this is something most people realize after they move in and not before. Trees clean the air, provide shade, dampen sound, and can improve drainage in flood-prone areas. Most importantly, even though the rigorous scientific study is lacking, there is evidence that people are happier and healthier when living in an area populated with many trees. It may be something to remember while searching for your dream home.
This one is also quite personal as everyone has different tastes. Some are obvious, like schools or shopping areas, but think about your typical day and what you like to do most. Are you someone who wants to spend a couple of hours on a Sunday morning at a favourite coffee shop sipping a latte and doing a crossword puzzle? If so, a long commute to the nearest spot may not be ideal. Little things like this often get overlooked. Remember, you will hardly ever find the perfect neighbourhood, there are always pros and cons, but sometimes the little details become important later.
Places to Exercise
Whether you like to go to a gym, run, bike, or do something else, you may want to check for nearby exercise facilities nearby if that is something you do regularly. Many people go for a workout after a busy day for mental and physical health reasons. You don't want the hassle of a hectic commute to and from the gym or yoga class. Make sure your new neighbourhood has workout facilities nearby that are important to you.
Don't overlook the obvious; your new neighbours are one of the most important things to consider in a neighbourhood. How do the other houses look? Are the yards and homes maintained to the standards you would set for yourself? Also, are there lots of kids in the area? That could be a pro or a con depending on your situation. Try to find out if your new neighbours are the sort of people you would enjoy their company.
Finally, don't forget one of the best ways to help you decide on a new neighbourhood, having a conversation with an experienced real estate agent will provide even more clarity on what is best for you. A good estate agent will have experience and tools to guide you. You can also try finding out about your neighbourhood by ordering a Community Feature Sheet®.